Sunday 15 September 2019

'It's 'kill or be killed' - Kerry star says cynical tactics required to win All Irelands


Paul Geaney of Kerry in attendance during the PwC All-Stars hurling nominations at Croke Park in Dublin
Paul Geaney of Kerry in attendance during the PwC All-Stars hurling nominations at Croke Park in Dublin
Kerry's Paul Geaney. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A cynical 'kill-or-be-killed' attitude is required by the top teams if they are ambitious enough to win All-Ireland titles, Kerry attacker Paul Geaney has warned.

The Dingle man, who was speaking at the launch of PwC's four-year sponsorship of the All-Stars, watched Sunday's All-Ireland final from the Davin Stand and got the perfect view of the simultaneous pulling down and off-the-ball blocking of three different Mayo players as David Clarke prepared to take his last kick-out.

Ciarán Kilkenny was eventually black-carded, reducing Dublin to 13 players and after a prolonged delay Clarke's kick-out went out for a sideline. Dublin were able to retain possession from that position to see out the game.

"I would expect it from anyone who has ambitions of winning an All-Ireland," said Geaney. "Kill or be killed. There was a discussion on the black card on Sunday and somebody was talking to Colm Cavanagh, who was sitting next to me, about that incident with Seán against Monaghan (in 2013).

"Either Seán took a player down or Monaghan got a goal to knock Tyrone out. That is sport.

"In soccer, it's a red card but that does not stop defenders making challenges to save a goal or Luis Suarez handling a ball on the line. It is part and parcel, the nature of sport and I would not have expected anything less from the Dubs, a situation where you have to do everything in your power to win."

Geaney praised Dean Rock for "having the balls" to nail a pressure kick at the end to win the game after the unedifying and unsporting spectacle of Lee Keegan throwing his GPS tracker at the player as he went to take the kick.

"That's maybe a step too far," he laughed. "But again that is Keegan's will to win at all costs. All you can say there is that it was an incredible free from Dean Rock under that pressure. It showed some balls for him to kick it. Even if someone ran across your line of vision at the wrong moment it would be enough to put you off but for someone to throw a GPS unit? How do you even think of that in the first place," he wondered.

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"But that shows you the will to win that is in Lee Keegan, which I would not blame him for."


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